Mayor plans tax credit for downtown apartments

October 11, 2012|By Steve Kilar | The Baltimore Sun

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake intends to introduce legislation to the Baltimore City Council that would provide a 15-year tax break to apartment developments in downtown.

The mayor announced the news at the annual meeting of the Downtown Partnership on Oct. 4.

“The Mayor’s office, Finance Department and Downtown Partnership developed a targeted 15-year tax credit program for newly-constructed and conversion residential projects in downtown,” Rawlings-Blake told the crowd near the end of her speech. “We will introduce this legislation later this fall. … We hope that it encourages residential development to meet Downtown’s market demand — and help us reach our goal of attracting 10,000 new households to the City over the next 10 years.”

Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership, said the new legislation should streamline and de-politicize the manner in which developers seek apartment-related tax benefits.

The legislation will control the rate taxable value of a property increases over the 15-year period, Fowler said. It is expected to apply to developments that create 50 or more apartment units, he said.

Abatement levels have been identified, but Fowler and the mayor’s office declined to discuss details of the plan. Fowler said more information would be released after members of the Council are briefed on the plan.

In August, the Downtown Partnership released a study that concluded downtown should be able to support about 5,800 new residential units in the next five years. Almost 60 percent of those units should be rental apartments, the Downtown Partnership said. 

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